65% students prefer visual learning as average attention spans decrease

As we all have our own individual way of learning, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ method. However, research has shown that in general, visual learning is 83 per cent more effective than using text alone. VideoScribe has investigated the impact of visuals on learning, revealing that the use of visuals can improve learning by up to 400 per cent overall.

A recent study by Microsoft revealed that the human attention span has dropped to eight seconds. This is a clear indicator of the length of the average attention span depleting, decreasing by nearly 25 per cent in just a few years.

The devices children use for the internet differ vastly depending on their age, with a new study revealing that all children aged between 3 - 15 used a tablet computer more than any other device. In fact, all age groups considered within the study, with the exclusion of the youngest children aged 3 to 4, are most likely to use a computer tablet.

As all children above the preschool age are using a tablet most, this further supports the theory that visuals are an important, if not the most important, component in learning. Computer tablets are a great example of a visual way of interpreting information, with a large screen that fits within the user’s hand, almost exclusively relying on imagery and graphics in the way they convey information.

Dr. Penny Trayner, a Paediatric Clinical Neuropsychologist, Chartered Psychologist Registered Practitioner and Clinical Psychologist from Clinical Neuropsychology Services said,

“the good news is that memory theory and research tell us that ‘richly’ encoded memory traces are much more likely to be retained, and multi-modal learning is a way of more richly encoding information. See it, discuss it, experience it.

“We likely all have strengths and preferences for the way we learn, and the best way to learn something varies from task to task. Taking a broad approach and making education as engaging as possible, targeting multiple senses in different ways, creates the best possible conditions for learning.”

VideoScribe has found that the brain is able to process images that last for just 13 milliseconds and our eyes are able to register 36,000 visual messages per hour, providing further insight into the benefits of visuals.

A poll conducted by VideoScribe surveying 30 adults found that when participants were asked what their learning style is, 15 per cent were auditory learners and 20 per cent were visual learners. However, most believed that they were kinesthetic learners, with 60 per cent retaining information best when doing a task, rather than watching or listening. Only 5 per cent of respondents stated they learned best through reading or writing, further revealing that text alone is one of the most ineffective techniques when attempting to retain information.

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